Elections in the occupied territory of Donbass should be held in accordance with the OSCE Copenhagen criteria. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told this in an interview with UNN.
So, Kuleba did not refute the information previously announced by the German Foreign Minister that one of the topics for discussion during the Normandy meeting of ministers would be the implementation of the Steinmeier formula - and hence the holding of elections in the Donbass.
At the same time, speaking about Russian ultimatums on this issue, the minister assured that Ukraine would not sacrifice its own principles. "Russia can issue as many ultimatums as it wants, but we will always be guided not by ultimatums, but by the national interests of our state. I am convinced that security in the east is in our interests. This is when our soldiers are not killed or injured in battle" - the diplomat noted.
The first and key issue for the Ukrainian side is security, it is possible to talk about politics only under this condition.
"Here is Ukraine's second interest. Yes, we want to reintegrate these territories. For this, elections will need to be held there. But our position is absolutely clear and uncompromising - these elections should take place on the territory liberated from the Russian armed forces and illegal armed formations supported by them, we should not have a leaky border with Russia, because it is impossible to hold fair elections, if it is possible to vote early and often and bring in whatever you want. "The infrastructure necessary for elections should also be fully functional, and this should be Ukrainian infrastructure - law enforcement agencies, the Central Election Commission and free access to the media. That is, the elections must be held in accordance with the OSCE Copenhagen criteria", - Kuleba explained.
He noted the need for a "normal" election process in order for them to be legitimate and their results could be recognized.
"How we get to this point, what laws we should adopt and of what content is another matter, and there is a space for compromise", - he added.
Kuleba admits that Ukraine is "far away" to the above-mentioned criteria, but he is not sure that "we can get there rather quickly, if there is a will of the Russian Federation".